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The Trader has written extensive articles on the problems Spain is facing. We have covered the imploding property sector, the hidden regional debt, the ever increasing unemployment and much more. In order to provide our readers objectivity, here is the latest presentation on Spain’s path toward stability, via Ministerio de Economia. The main points “responsible” for the build up of imbalances are….http://www.thetrader.se/2012/05/22/spain-and-the-path-towards-stability-and-growth/

Ft.com
JPMorgan Chase’s
shareholders suffered a further blow on Monday when the bank suspended its $15bn share buy back programme to preserve capital following the $2bn trading loss. With the embattled bank’s shares falling another 2 per cent on the news, investors have seen $30bn wiped off the bank’s market value since the losses in its chief investment office were revealed 10 days ago.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4c678268-a349-11e1-ab98-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fhome_asia%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz1vTdMAajU

Facebook shares fell on Monday below the price at which they floated, inflaming a debate about who was to blame for the stock’s failure to “pop” after the social network’s keenly watched initial public offering. Some investors accused Facebook of taking advantage of enormous demand to sell at an inflated price, while other market participants pointed to a glitch in Nasdaq OMX’s IPO software as the reason that potential buyers fled. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9b7a360c-a33f-11e1-8f34-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

Europe’s top antitrust enforcer on Monday delivered an ultimatum to Google to put its house in order or risk hefty fines, in the most significant transatlantic competition spat since Brussels waged its legal war with Microsoft a decade ago. The US search giant now has “a matter of weeks” to make a decision on whether to change its business voluntarily to address serious competition concerns even though it says they are unjustified. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/564a284a-a334-11e1-8f34-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

France is determined to push the idea of jointly guaranteed bonds as a new form of borrowing for eurozone countries despite Germany’s opposition, Pierre Moscovici, finance minister, said in Berlin on Monday. Speaking after a first intensive meeting with Wolfgang Schäuble, his German counterpart, Mr Moscovici confirmed that François Hollande, the newly elected French president, would include the concept as part of a package of growth measures to be debated by European leaders at an informal summit on Wednesday. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f9876df6-a366-11e1-988e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

Banks are braced for a fresh attack on their profit margins, if Moody’s presses ahead shortly with plans to downgrade short-term funding ratings sectorwide. Investors see UK lenders, in particular Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, as most exposed to the risk of rating downgrades in coming weeks, with a combined £110bn of funding in short-term money markets.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d182b7b4-a368-11e1-ab98-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

 

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, emerging market economies, led by China and India, kept world growth from collapsing. As Europe again teeters on the brink of disaster and the tepid US recovery lurches along, the growth slowdowns in China and India augur rough times ahead for the world economy. To keep these two engines of world growth on track, fiscal policy intervention must be a priority. What is needed in each country is a mirror image of the other. China needs more, well-targeted fiscal stimulus while India needs fiscal discipline. While these actions are diametrically opposed due to different circumstances in each country, they will have similar, positive effects. Fiscal policy, if executed well, could help stimulate private demand, boost business and consumer confidence and improve the effectiveness of monetary policy http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/f00a85f6-a32f-11e1-8f34-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

A joke doing the rounds several months ago was that the “i” in Brics stood for Indonesia. Recent events lend credence to that witticism. Indian growth rates are closer to 6 per cent than 8 per cent. Inflation rates exceed 10 per cent. The rupee is at its lowest-ever level against the US dollar. Long-promised reforms such as the opening of the retail sector and the promotion of a countrywide goods and services tax have been abandoned. High quality global journalism requires investment. The Indian economy is slowing and spluttering, and will continue to do so for some time. Behind this economic stagnation is a deeper story of political degradation. The country’s greatest political party is in steady decline. Founded in 1885, the Indian National Congress led a successful mass movement against colonial rule.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a0ada09e-a32d-11e1-8f34-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vTdMAajU

Wsj.com
Asian markets climbed ahead of Wednesday’s European Union summit where leaders are expected to discuss measures to promote growth and ways to keep Greece in the euro zone. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index started the day higher on Tuesday, up 0.7%, set to bring to an end a losing streak that has driven the index down 12 of the last 13 sessions, for a cumulative loss of 11.2%. The market was hit heavily by traders betting on the city’s stocks to fall. The index was helped up by a recovery by its single largest constituent, HSBC, which is 0.7% up.  Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.9%, Australia’s S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.8%, and South Korea’s Kospi gained 1%. The China Shanghai SE Composite gained 0.5% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.9%.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577419022920952042.html?mod=WSJEurope_hpp_LEFTTopStories

The euro crisis is bad enough, but its rapidly growing lexicon is ugly, too. Some gruesome word-mashes have emerged to describe the events in Greece and the rest of the region. Take “grexit”a term Citigroup coined in February as shorthand for Greek euro exit. Initially met with groans, it is now in wide use among analysts and investors. It doesn’t stop there. In research issued Monday, Deutsche Bank came up with the idea that Greece could use a parallel currency while formally remaining in the monetary union, to avoid a catastrophic abrupt switch. The working name for this parallel currency: the “geuro.” And just how is that pronounced? “Very good question,” said its creator Thomas Mayer, Deutsche Bank senior adviser. “I’d say ‘gh-euro.’ “http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577418422387901602.html?mod=WSJEUROPE_hpp_MIDDLETopNews

Spain’s government advanced plans to restore confidence in the strength of the country’s financial system, while confirming the economy continued to shrink in the second quarter and may fall short of Madrid’s tough financial targets for the year. Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Monday his ministry and the Bank of Spain had hired two foreign consulting firms, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants of Germany and Oliver Wyman of the U.S., to audit the banking system’s balance sheets and to conduct stress tests to ease investor concerns about the sector. The evaluations are expected to be completed by mid-June, the ministry said. “With this, what the government wants is to eliminate any doubts, uncertainties or negative opinions about the situation of Spanish banks,” Mr. de Guindos said at a news conference. “The perception that currently exists about Spanish banks is worse than the reality.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577417771823189392.html?mod=WSJEUROPE_hpp_MIDDLETopNews

The head of Greece’s radical left party tried to consolidate support here from political allies for rejecting the terms of the country’s bailout package, ahead of general elections that could decide Greece’s destiny in the euro zone.  “I don’t know if we have scared Europe, but judging by your presence here today, we have surprised it,” Alexis Tsipras, the 37-year-old head of the Coalition of the Radical Left, known as Syriza, told a packed room of journalists at the French National Assembly http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577418362976119778.html?mod=WSJEUROPE_hpp_MIDDLETopNews

South Korea has no plans to halt crude imports from Iran ahead of a decision by the U.S. and European Union on whether it could be exempted from their sanctions on Iran, a government official said Tuesday. “It isn’t true that South Korea will halt Iranian crude imports regardless of [what] the U.S. and European Union” decide on the matter, said the government official, who declined to be named. It’s “very difficult” to find a replacement for Iranian crude imports, which make up about 10% of the country’s total crude imports, in a short period of time, the official said.  South Korea is “doing its best” to be an exception to U.S. sanctions on Iran and be given access to the E.U.’s insurance services for oil shipments from Iran even after July 1, when E.U. sanctions are due to start, he added.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304019404577419142185267670.html?mod=WSJASIA_hpp_LEFTTopWhatNews

China’s imports of Iranian crude oil recovered in April after sharp drops earlier this year, suggesting Beijing remains a steady customer despite U.S. efforts to tighten sanctions on Tehran. China’s April crude imports from Iran, at 1.6 million metric tons or about 390,000 barrels a day, were down almost 24% from a year earlierbut up more than 48% from March. That increase likely reflects the resolution of a commercial dispute between Chinese and Iranian companies. State-controlled China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., known as Unipec, had skipped purchases from National Iranian Oil Co. as they worked out differences over the terms of the supply agreement. The dispute was resolved in mid-February, and the additional barrels likely started arriving in April, around three weeks after being shipped from Kharg Island in Iran. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577417803213035894.html?mod=WSJASIA_hpp_LEFTTopWhatNews

Marketwatch.com
Japan held a net 253 trillion yen ($3.19 trillion) in foreign assets at the end of 2011, hanging on to its position as the world’s top creditor nation, according to Ministry of Finance data released Tuesday. The position marked a rise from net foreign assets of ¥251 trillion at end-2010, with Dow Jones Newswires reporting that the data may dampen expectations that China — which holds the equivalent of ¥192.5 trillion in net foreign assets — would soon overtake the Japanese as the No. 1 creditor http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-remains-worlds-top-creditor-nation-in-2011-2012-05-21

Japanese utilities are planning to increase fees for peak-hour electricity usage in an effort to head off possible power shortages this summer following the closure of the nation’s nuclear power plants, the Nikkei business daily reported Tuesday. Under plans beginning for Tokyo Electric Power Co. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-utilities-to-hike-peak-rates-sharply-report-2012-05-21

Reuters.com
Apple (AAPL.O) has maintained its place as the world’s most valuable brand over the past year, leading a group of technology-related companies that dominate the top 10, according to a study published on Tuesday. The iPhone and iPad maker has boosted its brand value by 19 percent in the past year to $183 billion, or 37 percent of its market capitalization, according to the annual BrandZ study by leading brands and market-research agency Millward Brown. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/22/us-brands-technology-apple-idUSBRE84L00020120522

Gold inched lower on Tuesday after failing to break above $1,600 an ounce, as investors await a European Union summit later in the week at which leaders will try to agree on action to solve the region’s debt crisis. Gold made attempts to break above the key resistance level at $1,600 in the past two days but failed, and has since been drifting around $1,590 as investors remained cautious when the fate ofGreeceand euro zone remains in limbo. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/22/us-markets-precious-idUSBRE8390RW20120522

Brent crude held steady near $109 on Tuesday, awaiting the results of two meetings to tackle Europe’s debt crisis and Iran’s nuclear program and which are likely to determine the future of global oil demand and supply. Brent crude edged up 6 cents to $108.87 by 11.20 p.m. EDT, but is still about $20 down from March’s high. U.S. crude for June inched up 6 cents to $92.63 ahead of its expiry later today.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/22/us-markets-oil-idUSBRE83H17O20120522

Bloomberg.com
Japan
’s foreign investments and assets grew to the second-highest level on record as companies used the high yen to make acquisitions abroad, a trend that may help them cope with stagnant demand at home. Investments abroad grew 3.3 percent to 582 trillion yen ($7.3 trillion) in 2011, rising for the third year, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. Currency gains cut the value of existing holdings but encouraged increased investment abroad. Foreign investors increased Japanese assets by an extra 17 trillion, leaving the net creditor position of the country little changed at 253 trillion yen, the world’s largest, the data showed. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/japan-2011-overseas-net-assets-were-little-changed-as-yen-climbs.html

Negotiators headed to Baghdad for a second round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program won’t be giving Iran the relief it is seeking from oil and financial sanctions hobbling its economy, according to Obama administration officials and Western diplomats. Instead, the U.S. and the five other major powers that will hold talks tomorrow with Iran in the Iraqi capital have agreed on confidence-building measures they may offer in response to Iranian concessions, said several U.S. officials and Western diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The five other countries represented at the table are the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-22/u-s-won-t-ease-oil-sanctions-at-iran-nuclear-talks.html

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s response to the financial crisis will be scrutinized after lawmakers pushed for an inquiry as the central bank prepares to take over financial regulation. The Court, the Bank of England’s governing body, ordered a review of some central bank actions, including its conduct after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The investigation will cover the EmergencyLiquidity Assistance program in 2008 and 2009, the framework for providing liquidity to banks, and the Monetary Policy Committee’s forecasting capability, the Court in London said yesterday.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/king-s-crisis-response-to-face-scrutiny-after-u-k-lawmaker-push.html

Cnbc.com
There has been no official announcement. No terms or conditions have been disclosed. But Greece’s banking system is being propped up by an estimated €100 billion or so of emergency liquidity provided by the country’s central bank approved secretly by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. If Greece were to leave the eurozone, the immediate cause might be an ECB decision to pull the plug. Extensive use of “emergency liquidity assistance” (ELA) to help banks in the weakest economies has been one of the less-noticed features of the eurozone crisis. Separate from normal supplies of liquidity and meant originally as a temporary facility for national authorities to use when banks hit problems, ELA proved a lifesaver for the financial system Ireland and is now even more so in Greece. As such, it has given the ECB which has ultimate control over the facility considerable power to determine countries’ fates. http://www.cnbc.com/id/47513542

BBC.co.uk
Vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment, a key Senate committee has reported. A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee found. More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China, the report said.  It blamed weaknesses in the US supply chain, and China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market. The failure of a key part could pose safety and national security risks and lead to higher costs for the Pentagon, the committee said.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18155293

Manchester City has won the Premier League title, and is also top of the league of value for fans, according to the ING Direct Value table. The bank chart compares club season ticket costs with Premier League performance and entertainment value and getting the most points for your pound. ING places QPR, who just avoided relegation, at the bottom of the table. Wigan, who had a great escape from relegation, are second best value, and West Bromwich Albion third. Second bottom was Liverpool, whose eighth place finish in the top flight, Carling Cup triumph, and FA Cup final place were not enough to counteract a high season ticket cost and poor scoring record. And Wolves found themselves in both the official and value relegation zones. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18115990

Telegraph.co.uk
The eurozone’s ‘Latin Bloc’ is in full revolt. The trio of French, Italian, and Spanish leaders – backed by world powers – are to push for a radical shift in Europe’s economic strategy at crucial summit on Wednesday.  The package of measures includes an EMU-wide guarantee of bank deposits aimed at halting a slow bank run across southern Europe, as well as demands for full activation of the European Central Bank as a lender of last resort.  They will propose eurobonds to finance an infrastructure blitz, a sort of Marshall Plan to revive confidence even if long-term benefits will take years to feed through.  While the moves are couched in diplomatic language, the clear aim of French premier François Hollande, Italian premier Mario Monti, and Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy is to wrest control of the EU’s governing machinery from Germany. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9280847/Germany-isolated-as-Latin-Bloc-calls-the-shots.html

Eurozone leaders have come under fire for failing to deal with the political divisions and crippled banks that pose as big a risk to the single currency as Greece. On a day when angry comments were exchanged over France’s call for eurobonds, Adam Posen, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, said it was undercapitalised lenders that were the real cause of the region’s woes and urged authorities not to be afraid of nationalising them if necessary. “The source of current problems is not Greece … The source of current problems in the eurozone is that various financial exposures we all have in the interbank market are not yet resolved because certain financial institutions are insufficiently capitalised,” Mr Posen told a conference in Tokyo. His comments came as Spain revealed that the state-backed Bankia would need another €7.5bn of equity, which would leave it almost entirely taxpayer owned and French President Francois Hollande sparked an angry exchange with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy by saying the rest of the sector should also be recapitalised. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9280779/Rows-break-out-over-eurozone-woes.html

Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, has said the bank had decided to drop “indefinitely” plans to look at moving its headquarters from London to Hong Kong. HSBC, which paid $1.5bn (£950m) tax in the UK last year, threatened to leave the UK in the face of punitive financial regulation. News that is has squashed the review into changing its domicile will be a major boost to HMRC and the UK, where HSBC employs 50,000 people. “Although we talked at one point about reviewing this, it has been postponed indefinitely,” Mr Gulliver, told a group of shareholders in Hong Kong. He added: “There are too many moving parts to make a rational, conscious decision.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9280629/HSBC-postpones-plans-to-leave-UK-indefinitely.html

Guardian.co.uk
Voters are convinced the euro is heading for the rocks, but divided on whom they will blame if the double-dip recession deepens, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll. By a crushing margin of 72% to 20% the British public believes that Greece is on its way out of the single currency club, and a majority of 52% judges that the eurozone’s disintegration will go further, with other countries also being forced to leave. Some 26% believe we are set for a total unravelling, with a return to old national currencies like the French franc and the Deutsche mark in the heartland of the EU. The poll also records the lowest-ever approval ratings for David Cameron and his coalition. The prime minister’s personal approval ratings are now virtually neck and neck with Ed Miliband‘s.http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/21/greece-heading-out-of-euro-uk-poll

Smh.com.au
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he is convinced that Greeks want to stay in the euro but the crisis had shown that more European Central Bank involvement was likely needed. “Greeks want to stay in the euro,” Monti said in an interview on CNN. “Not all Greeks are ready to do what is necessary to stay in the euro, but I think as we approach the 17th of June election date, the feeling in Greece is that it’s crucial for their country.” His comments were made shortly before his decision to cut short his stay at a NATO summit here and return to Italy to deal with the aftermath of a deadly school bombing and a fatal earthquake. http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/italys-monti-says-greeks-want-to-stay-in-eurozone-20120521-1yzu1.html#ixzz1vZWt3lAB

Apple chief executive Tim Cook topped the list of the best-paid CEOs in the US in 2011 thanks to stock options that put him more than $US300 million above his next rival, a Wall Street Journal survey shows. Cook, who took the helm of the iPhone and iPad maker in August last year, two months before the death of founder Steve Jobs, clocked in total compensation of $US378 million ($385 million) – more than $US1 million a day. Cook earned a paltry 90 US cents for his annual salary and 90 US cents for his annual incentives. But he scooped up a cool $US376 million in restricted stock grants, based on Apple’s stock price at the time. Another Silicon Valley big gun, the head of Oracle, Larry Ellison, came in second place with less than a fifth of Cook’s pay, at $US76 million.http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/apples-iplunder-cook-pulls-in-us1-million-a-day-20120522-1z1z2.html#ixzz1vZWzMeGt

Theglobeandmail.com
For more than a decade, consumer loans have fuelled Canadian bank earnings, pushing profits upward as home buyers took out mortgages and consumers extended their lines of credit. But as the banking sector prepares to report second-quarter earnings this week, a different picture is emerging. Canadian households are beginning to sputter. While none of the Big Six banks are expected to see their second-quarter earnings fall dramatically because of this trend, the strong growth they have long been able to muster for investors will now be a lot harder to achieve, say analysts.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/bank-growth-slows-as-consumers-pinch-their-pennies/article2438572/

Xinhuanet.com
South Korea’s foreign debts grew to 411.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter as local lenders increased their long-term borrowing from overseas amid rising foreign fund inflow into the local bond market, the central bank said Tuesday. Foreign debts reached 411.4 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of March, up 13 billion dollars from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Long-term external liabilities that mature in one year or more expanded 12.8 billion dollars on-quarter to 275.1 billion dollars in the three months ending March 31 due to a growth in foreign investment into local bonds and an increase in local lenders’ long- term foreign borrowing. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2012-05/22/c_131603385.htm

Europe’s debt crisis was picked as the biggest threat facing the South Korean economy amid spreading concerns that Greece may exit the euro zone, a poll showed Tuesday. According to the survey of 41 experts by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), 73 percent of the respondents picked the European fiscal crisis as the biggest threat to the South Korean economy in the second half of this year. This was followed by slower economic recovery in the United States, which 15 percent of experts viewed as a threat. Economic slowdown in emerging countries and higher commodity prices ranked third and fourth risk factors to the economy in the survey. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2012-05/22/c_131603127.htm

The Philippine government on Monday reported a budget surplus of 31.024 billion pesos (718.46 million U.S. dollars) in April. The government said this helped reduced the four-month budget shortfall to 2.885 billion pesos (66.81 million U.S. dollars). The Philippine budget department reported total revenues of 514. 24 billion pesos (11.9 billion U.S. dollars) in January to April. This is higher by 11 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The government said the increase in total revenues was boosted mainly by revenue collections in April, at a time when all taxpayers remit what they owe the government.http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2012-05/21/c_131601950.htm

A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived here Monday to assess the country’s economy, said the IMF regional office in Ukraine. The delegation will review the financial situation in the country and have talks with Ukrainian authorities during a week, the IMF office said. The IMF staff would focus on possible challenges to the stability of the East European economy and examine potential further steps to combat the risks, it said. The visit of the delegation is not related to a revision of a 15-billion-U.S.-dollar stand-by program which was frozen in February 2011 after Ukraine had received the second tranche, the IMF said. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2012-05/21/c_131601887.htm

The consumer price index (CPI) of Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is forecast to increase 0.16 percent in May over the previous month, up 7.8 percent compared with the same month last year, reported the Hanoi Statistics Office on Monday. During the month, of the 11 commodities, only price index of the post and telecom group remained unchanged, while the food — restaurant services group, and housing-construction materials group fell 0.24 and 1.03 percent respectively, and other eight groups posted an increase. The group of other goods and services is forecast to hit the highest growth rate of 2.75 percent during the month, followed by transport with 1.32. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2012-05/21/c_131601882.htm

Cs.com.cn
Norway isn’t in the grip of a housing bubble and a shortage of supply in the property market will prevent prices from falling, said Erna Solberg, the leader of the Conservative Party and the front-runner to take over as prime minister in next year’s election. “I argue against a housing bubble because a housing bubble is an influx of prices without demand; in Norway it’s demand that’s the biggest reason,” Solberg, 51, said yesterday in an interview in Oslo. “I don’t think house prices will fall.”  The comments signal a potential Conservative-led government won’t step in with measures to cool the housing market that the country’s financial regulator has warned is the biggest threat to the economy. Near-record low interest rates and falling unemployment boosted home prices about 27 percent since 2008, according to the Norwegian Real Estate Brokers Association. http://www.cs.com.cn/english/ei/201205/t20120522_3339557.html

In the last two weeks, the economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics have prompted some west media and analysts’ speculation that China’s economy has yet to bottom. However, they neglected some positive signals and the fact that the decelerated growth rate is the anticipated consequence of the government’s active control as China is undergoing a structural shift from resources- and investment-driven growth to a more balanced and more sustainable pattern. Decelerated pace of growth. The weak growth of three major drivers of China’s traditional economic growth — investment, exports and consumption — were the main targets for those who were pessimistic towards China’s future economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, fixed asset investment in urban areas increased 20.2 percent year-on-year in the first four months, the slowest pace since the 17.4-percent growth recorded in 2002. http://www.cs.com.cn/english/ei/201205/t20120522_3339525.html
Thehindu.com
India-born Suma Chakrabarti will succeed Germany’s Thomas Mirow as the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has been supporting economic transition in former Eastern Bloc countries and Soviet republics for the last two decades. Mr. Chakrabarti, a permanent Secretary in the U.K. Ministry of Justice, has won the race for the leadership of the bank by prevailing over four other candidates, including Mr. Mirow, who sought a second four-year term. A majority of the bank’s board of directors, representing 63 members, voted for Mr. Chakrabarti at its annual meeting held in London at the week-end.  With the election of Mr. Chakrabarti, a British national is for the first time at the top of the London-based East European Bank.http://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/article3442893.ece

Economictimes.com
The rupee fell to a new record low of 55.09 to the dollar, its fifth consecutive all-time low, as arbitrage measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India late on Monday provided only a brief sentiment boost.
At 10:05 a.m., the partially convertible rupee was trading at 54.95/00 per dollar, rebounding from the record low and strengthening from its close of 55.03/04 on Monday. Traders said some exporters were selling dollars in the market, limiting a steeper fall, but the overall bias is still towards a weaker rupee.  The central bank said capital inflows will determine the direction of the rupee and stepped in to arrest volatility in currency movement. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/forex/rupee-hits-record-low-of-55-09-versus-the-dollar/articleshow/13380841.cms

Wipro is seeking to make more than $1 billion in acquisitions over the next 18 months, adding intellectual property and software to help boost profit, Chairman Azim Premji said. India’s third-largest compute services provider is targeting deals between $50 million and $300 million, though “it’s not a hard cap,” Premji said in a May 18 interview in New York.  The company relies mostly on an internal mergers and acquisitions team led by Rishad Premji, the chairman’s son, to hunt for candidates, rather than using investment banks. “We are trying to create deals, rather than just react to deals which are lying with investment bankers, because we find our win rates are much higher,” said Premji , 66. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/wipro-looks-at-mas-worth-1-billion-to-boost-profit/articleshow/13378463.cms

Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune are among the top five cities in the world with the lowest office occupancy cost, according to a recent report by global property consultancy firm DTZ. The three Indian cities are ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively in DTZ’s fifteenth annual survey titled “Global Occupancy Costs: Offices”, which covered 124 business districts in 49 countries. They were placed ninth, tenth and eleventh a year ago. The total occupancy cost per workstation per annum in Chennai is down 12% to $2,570, from $2,920 a year ago. For the same period, it is down 15% in Hyderabad and 11% in Pune. Total occupancy cost includes real estate price, infrastructure and efficiency of buildings, but does not include cost of manpower. Costs have come down because of depreciation in the rupee and a marginal increase in rentals over the last 12 months. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/real-estate/news/hyderabad-chennai-and-pune-among-worlds-top-five-cities-with-lowest-office-occupancy-survey/articleshow/13371114.cms
Fin24.com
South African national oil company PetroSA said on Monday it had partnered with China’s Sinopec Group to push along the building of its Coega refinery, originally slated to cost $9-$10bn and produce 400 000 barrels a day. The Mthombo project, in the industrial port of Coega near Port Elizabeth, has been in the pipeline for several years but progress has stalled mainly because of a lack of funding. “The agreement defines the process by which PetroSA and Sinopec will shape the business case for Project Mthombo, the initiative to construct a world class crude oil refinery at Port Elizabeth’s Coega Industrial Development Zone,” PetroSA said. http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Industrial/SA-turns-to-China-for-Coega-refinery-20120521

Tehrantimes.com
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that it is projected that the country’s oil output will increase by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2016. Speaking on Monday on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony for the world’s largest polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production unit at the Arvand Petrochemical Complex, which is located in Mahshahr in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Qasemi stated that the daily gas output is projected to rise by 1.47 billion cubic meters, the Mehr News Agency reported.  All development plans related to joint oil and gas fields will by finalized by the end of the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (September 21), he added. http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/98100-iran-plans-to-raise-daily-oil-output-by-15-million-barrels-by-2016

A high ranking economic delegation from Turkey arrived in Tehran on Monday, aiming to talk with senior Iranian officials on giving a boost to bilateral trade. Turkish Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz heads the delegation. He is scheduled to meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Roads and Urban Development Minister Ali Nikzad, the IRNA News Agency reported. Enhancing economic ties, launching joint ventures in energy, transportation and industry sectors, raising annual trade value to $20 billion and boosting regional cooperation will be among the main topics of discussion, the report added.http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/98074-tehran-ankara-explore-ways-to-boost-trade

Khaleejtimes.com
Dubai International airport is expected to become the third busiest international airport by 2020 as its operator is spending a huge amount of money for expansion on the ground and in the air. At the moment, London’s Heathrow is ranked third busiest international airport and Dubai is seen to overtake it within a decade. Both airports have allocated billions of dollars for expansion. Heathrow expects a 90 million passenger capacity by 2020, while Dubai International is working to achieve 98 million passengers by 2020. “Dubai International, unfortunately, will probably overtake us as the third busiest international airport at some point of time in this decade,” Simon Baugh, director of media relations at BAA Airports, told Khaleej Times. http://khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2012/May/uaebusiness_May353.xml&section=uaebusiness

 


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